The timeline for Craig Kimbrel to join the Cubs is becoming clearer:
Craig Kimbrel’s live BP session on Saturday went as planned. He’s traveling today to Sacramento to join Triple-A Iowa. First game appearance looming (Mon or Tue).
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) June 16, 2019
Things have gone well enough to allow for Kimbrel to travel from Arizona and join the Cubs’ Triple-A Iowa affiliate in Sacramento for the I-Cubs’ series against the River Cats, which begins Monday. And in more good news, Kimbrel could get into game action by Tuesday. Sweeeeet!
The Cub Reporter’s Arizona Phil shared an eyes-on report on Kimbrel after watching him this week at the team’s spring training facility in Mesa. On Saturday, Phil saw Kimbrel throw 26 pitches (14 strikes) in what amounted to be a simulated game. The results were mixed (strikeout swinging, strikeout looking, a walk, a homer, and some hard contact).
On Saturday, Brett laid out a possible timeline in which Kimbrel and it’s looking like it could be in play. In essence, Kimbrel could make his I-Cubs debut on Tuesday, be given some time off, and get back on the bump on Thursday or Friday when the Triple-A squad returns home to face Round Rock. After that, he can take a day off before trying his hand at back-to-back outings, possibly on Sunday, June 23 and Monday, June 24. From there, he could take another breather before making a possible final minor-league appearance on Thursday in Iowa against Omaha. In theory, that would put Kimbrel on track to join the big-league Cubs at the end of June or early July.
This timeline would presume a best-case scenario in which Kimbrel suffers no setbacks and looks good during his ramp-up for The Show. After all, this is basically spring training for Kimbrel.
Then again, if there is one thing Cubs fans know all-too-well is being patient.